Roof Design 101

Architects use many different roof designs to help establish a house’s unique look. Different slopes of the roof can effect weather runoff while different placements of windows and skylights can effect light and heat. Understand the basics of different architectural roof design with this easy guide.

Side Gable

This type of roof has a triangular shaped wall and window area that emerges from the side of an angled roof. Commonly found in Cape Cod, Colonial Revival, and Georgian Colonial homes.

side gable

Hipped Roof

Also called a Hip Roof, this roof slopes all the way down to the eaves on all four sides. These slopes may resemble a pyramid in a square house. The ridge formed by these slopes is often covered with a vent. A hip roof may have dormers but will not have a gable. Commonly found in French-Inspired, American Foursquare, and Mediterranean Neocolonial design.

hip roof

Mansard Roof

Mansard roofs are named after the French architect Francois Mansart and popular in the 1500-1600’s. This historical style is still used today, although more common on apartments or commercial buildings than houses. The standout feature is how the roof has two slopes on all four sides, with one slope so steep it seems almost vertical. mansard roof


Jerkinhead Roof

jerkinhead roofThis fancy name describes a more humble and rustic look. Also known as a half-hip or clipped gable, the roofing style appears similar to a bay window and is a common choice on cottages and bungalows. Often seen on American houses from the 1920’s – 1930’s.

 Gambrel Roof

A Gambrel roof has gables and also two pitches to the top slope. The lower section slopes more gently and the top sections gets steeper. This style is commonly seen in many classic American barns, especially around Tulsa, but is actually most commonly used in Dutch Colonial style homes.

gambrel roof

butterfly roofButterfly Roof

This name doesn’t refer to beautiful colors or delicate material, butterfly roofs are named for their wing-spreading style slant. Characterized by a center line with roofing rising up from the sides, these roof designs may seem almost inverted to some. Butterfly roofs are common in warmer areas (think: Palm Springs, California).


For more on roofing design and materials, check with your local experts at Perfection Roofing, serving the Tulsa area.

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